I found inspiration today from a Harvard Business Review guest blog post arguing that — surprise! — the “modern marketer” must be a skilled analytics person, like an engineer or architect. (Pity the poor modern marketer — this requirement would be, of course, in addition to being social, customer-centric, a storyteller and a content creator. No wonder modern life is so stressful.)
I thought to myself, well, maybe, sure; in some contexts, the marketer as analytics-driven engineer makes sense, especially in the world of mobile marketing to consumers in which its absolutely essential to design automated marketing systems that can respond effectively to behavioral triggers, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Me, I don’t do the kind of marketing that’s so heavily dependent on real-time whatever. And that brings me to the point of this post. For years now, when people asked what kind of copywriting I did, I’d say B2B, with a smattering of B2C in “complex” areas, like insurance, higher education or financial services — in other words, where the ability to translate complex information into compelling pitches really matters.
Now that’s still true, but I think I’ve found a better way of articulating that market segment by way of Adele Revella of the Buyer Persona Institute. In her presentation at CMW last September, she used a phrase that really caught my ear: “high-consideration.” Responding to an audience question regarding the value of doing interviews that dug into the purchasing decision, Adele said they were not possible in “low-consideration” contexts (like buying a bag of chips or clicking on a banner link) because the purchaser had put little thought, or consideration, into the purchase. The investigations become meaningful, very meaningful, when customers put a good deal of thought into what they have to buy.
Notice the crucial distinction: it’s not whether it’s a consumer or business purchase, it’s whether the purchase involves a significant amount of conscious thought.
Bingo! Buying a soda for personal consumption or a box of pens for the office is low-consideration. But buying an insurance plan for your personal estate or a CRM service for your office is high-consideration.
Back to the original inspiration for this story: what do modern marketers need to know? For me, the distinctive skill sets are no longer (if they ever really were) between those for B2C vs. B2B, but for low-consideration vs. high-consideration. If your business is in the former category, then you’ll need more background in awareness advertising, behavioral triggers, POS set-ups, etc. But if your business is in high-consideration turf, as mine is, you’re going to find things like content marketing and lead nurturance much more relevant.
At least, that’s what I think about thinking. I think…